Review: Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

Posted in Supernatural: Reviews on April 9, 2010 by brandex1

Season 5, Episode 15

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

Summary: So it’s a stormy night in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (which many will recognize as Bobby’s home town) and we see a had come out of a grave, followed by a fairly dirt-caked zombie. Cut to a redneck in a trailer watching TV. He hears a jiggling at the door and goes to check it out only to find nothing there. He shuts it and sits down, but it then flies open. He investigates, turns around and is confronted and attacked by the aforementioned zombie. Cue title card. Sam and Dean walk in to a diner to interview a man who claims to have seen the attack and meet Sheriff Mills (a possible reference to Jim Beaver’s character in Harper’s Island) who asks to talk to their supervisor whose voice she then recognises as Bobby’s. The boys talk to Bobby about the attack and he claims to have investigated it and come up with nothing but on the way out of town they discover the freshly filled grave and find no body in the coffin. While checking out the zombie’s house they find him and take him outside to “kill” him but are caught and arrested by the Sheriff. Bobby bails them out of jail and while at his house they meet Bobby’s dead wife Karen who has also risen. Bobby tells them that death is behind it. While Dean keeps an eye on Bobby and has a talk with Karen, Sam goes to investigate the other people who have risen, the first of which he finds has turned and started killing. They tell Bobby about this who knowing what they want to do tells them to leave. At the car Dean tells Sam to go get help from Sheriff Mills while he takes care of Karen. When Sam gets to the Sheriff’s house he finds that her son (who was also one of the zombies) has turned and killed her husband. This forces him to kill the boy, and her to accept that they are dangerous. Back at Bobby’s Karen has also begun to turn and she tells Bobby he has to kill her. As Dean is coming inside he hears a gunshot and finds Karen dead and Bobby holding the gun. Sam is gathering the town’s people to help them fight the zombies but also finds that Bobby isn’t such a hero in the town’s eyes. While loading the car with ammo Bobby and Dean are attacked and in a shootout between them and the zombies are chased into a cupboard inside. When the zombies get into the cupboard they have to fight them off until Sam and the Sheriff come and kill the rest. The episode ends with Sam burning the dead bodies and then he and Dean finding Bobby where he is burning his wife and he tells them the real reason Death came to South Dakota.

There is a lot of thought involved when a show decides to use zombies. What type of zombies will they be? How can they be killed? Etc. I personally love these zombies. So far throughout the series there has been 2 types of “zombies”. First there was the zombie that was raised in “2.04 Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things” who was completely aware and almost like a living human, then there were the Croatoan virus “zombies” from “2.09 Croatoan” and “5.04 The End”. This episode chose to go with the former and have their undead fully aware. They had even worked their way back into society and the town had accepted them. One theme of this episode was zombie ethics. As Dean was preparing to shoot one, the Sheriff appears and tells him just because he’s a monster, it doesn’t give him the right to shoot him. That leads to a brilliant quote:

“I can’t believe you were going to shoot me”

”You’re a zombie”

”I’m a taxpayer”

It was a good idea that got you thinking, “If zombies really did come, what rights would they have?” Although those ethics were thrown out the window once the zombies started turning and attacking the down.

The Horseman Death (Who is still yet to be seen) was, of course, the one behind the raising of the dead. Like Revelations states, the dead will rise in the final run of the apocalypse. Why in Sioux Falls, South Dakota you ask? That was my first though too. Turns out Death doesn’t like the way Bobby has been helping the Winchesters deny they’re destinies and he’s decided to take action, sending a plague of the dead to his town to deliver him a message.

This leads me to Bobby’s role in the episode. It was a fairly emotional episode for him as his wife Karen (who was killed by Bobby himself, as explained in “3.10 Dream A Little Dream Of Me”) is one of the dead, brought back to life. Bobby’s reaction to this was the same as the rest of the towns. It was his wife and so he went along with it. He even chose her over the boys when they told him she had to die. But panic set in when she collapsed and he realised she was turning. As she was lying on the bed slowly turning, she told Bobby he would have to kill her again. At the end of the episode, as he watched her body burn, he delivered a heart wrenching line:

“She was the love of my life… How many times do I gotta kill her?”

Needless to say, Jim Beaver’s (Bobby) acting this episode was superb (as it always is), but this episode was so much more. Not only would this part be hard for anybody to play, but given Jim’s past, it would have been that much worse and yet he still soldiered through and delivered a great performance. As stated in his autobiography “Life’s That Way” his wife Cecily died of lung cancer in early 2004. Having to then put himself in the headspace of “How would I feel if my wife came back to life” would have taken a huge emotional toll on him and he even said via his twitter that it was one of the most emotional episodes he’d done. This performance just heightens my respect and admiration of Jim as an actor and as a human being.

Usually I’m not very good at reviewing stand alone episodes (hence why there isn’t one for “5.11 Sam, Interuppted” and “5.12 Swap Meat”) but even though technically it didn’t have much to do with the mythology, it still had just enough to make it reviewable as well as having the amazing work that Jim did. Sorry for the lateness of this review, I’ve just gotten a bit lazy but hopefully 5.16 and 5.17 will be up within the next couple of days.

Review: My Bloody Valentine

Posted in Supernatural: Reviews on March 27, 2010 by brandex1

Season 5, Episode 14

My Bloody Valentine

Summary: The episode begins fairly disturbingly with a couple coming back from a first date when things start to heat up ending in the two eating each other. Sam and Dean come into investigate and when another couple commit suicide, they study the hearts and find Enochian symbols on them. They contact Cas who tells them it is the work of a rogue Cupid. They track down the Cupid and interrogate him to find that he is telling the truth when he says he only caused them to fall in love, not the deaths. Sam finds a demon in town and when he confronts him with Ruby’s knife the demon runs, dropping his briefcase. Back at motel, Sam and Dean open it causing a momentary flash of light. Cas reveals it was a human soul and that the deaths in town were being caused by Famine, the third horseman of the apocalypse, who causes humans to hunger for their deepest desires. They figure out they have to cut off Famine’s ring to release the hold he had on everyone but Sam says he isn’t up for it because Famine has caused his hunger for demon blood to grow. Dean handcuffs him to the sink and traps him in the bathroom and he and Cas go off to track down Famine. Two of Famine’s demons find Sam in the hotel and when he gets free he manages to kill both and drink their blood. Dean and Cas find Famine and go in only to be captured. Famine tells Dean that the reason he hasn’t been consumed by hunger is because he no longer had a soul. Sam comes in amped up on demon blood and kills Famine’s demons who are then consumed by Famine. Sam tries to use his powers on Famine but he tells him that, as a horseman, they wouldn’t work on him. Sam replies with “No, but they will work on them” and then extracts the demons from him, draining famines power and freeing everyone under his spell. The episode ends with Dean and Cas standing outside Bobby’s panic room with Sam yelling through the door for them to help him.

What would a Valentine’s Day based episode be without a Cupid? Supernatural’s version of Cupid is a big, jolly, naked Cherub whose “handshake” is a bear hug. Originally the boys thought he was a rogue, massacring people but it turns out he was innocent. This Cupid is fairly emotional, bursting out crying when he was accused of killing people. He also shed some light on what Michael had said in the previous episode.

As previously stated, Cupid elaborated on what Michael had said about the boys existence not being coincidental. He tells them that originally John and Mary hated each other but with a little bit of help from a Cupid they fell in love, married and had Sam and Dean, ultimately dooming the world. Dean didn’t take kindly to hearing his parents were forced together and punched Cupid (which as we know from “4.22 Lucifer Rising” hurt’s him more than the angel) however, Cupid being as emotionally challenged as he is, took offence to this and disappeared.

Famine, of course, was the real reason behind all the deaths in town. The writers did a great job with Famine, as they did with War. They took their own take on his appearance. Famine is described as “Portly, and rides upon a black, sickly horse”. In the Supernatural universe cars are used instead of horses and so Famine road in a black SUV with an almost FBI type team of security demons. Famine himself was an old “sickly” man in a gopher. He was draining the town of their souls to strengthen himself enough to “march across the land.” His powers cause a person’s deepest hunger to eventually kill them. His team of demons then collects their souls and takes them back to Famine.

The hungers Famine caused weren’t just food related. He took what a person needed most and turned that against them. For many it was sex, alcohol or money. For Sam it was demon blood. Unfortunately the hunger made him relapse and he was forced to let Dean handcuff him to the bathroom sink. He then got free and fulfilled his hunger. The return of his addiction could likely be his downfall and from Dean’s reaction, it may also be the downfall for their relationship. The trust that has slowly built back up between them this season is in jeopardy and so is the fate of the world if this causes Sam to say yes. Cas (although he is an angel) was still affected by the hunger via his vessel Jimmy. Jimmy’s hunger after being trapped in his own body for so long was red meat. When I first saw Cas eating I thought maybe this was another step toward him becoming human but it turned out it was Famine all along. Maybe the fact Jimmy has been mentioned again could mean there will be another appearance of him as the season goes on.

The final and possibly most shocking revelation of this episode came from Famine while he held Dean captive. Throughout the episode it was obvious that Dean wasn’t being affected and he believed it was because when he wanted something he usually took it. It turned out that he wasn’t affected because, as Famine said, he was dead inside. This was a massive revelation. It brings up a lot of questions including: “What exactly caused him to lose his soul, Hell itself or the torturing he did while he was there?” and “How is this going to affect the outcome of the Apocalypse?”

The episode had a good cliffhanger making us wonder how long Sam would be kept in the panic room. Unfortunately there will be a 5 or 6 week hiatus between now and episode 5.15. But to keep you entertained for a little bit longer the next post will include the synopsis, trailer and hopefully a few previews.

- Dex

Review: The Song Remains The Same

Posted in Supernatural: Reviews on March 27, 2010 by brandex1

Summary: Dean is visited by Anna (Who has escaped from Heaven) in a dream and she tells him to meet her in a warehouse. Castiel however, not trusting Anna’s intentions, goes instead. An argument ensues in which Anna tells Cas that she has to kill Sam to save the world from the apocalypse. Cas tells her that if she goes anywhere near Sam he would have to kill her. To get around this, Anna instead goes back to 1978 in order to kill John and Mary Winchester and stop Sam and Dean from being born. Cas realises this and transports himself and the guys back to stop her. Sam and Dean find their parents and try to pass as Mary’s cousins, but after Anna attacks John and Mary is forced to fight her off in front of him, they finally explain that they are hunters. Anna calls on Uriel circa 1978 to help kill them by telling him they kill him in the future. Dean finally reveals to Mary that he and Sam are their sons and tells her to leave John so they are never born and the Apocalypse can never take place, to which Mary replies “It’s too late, I’m pregnant”. In the confrontation between the two angels and the Winchester’s, Sam is killed by Anna and John is thrown through a window. We see John outside where a bright light comes from off screen. Back inside Anna has Mary cornered when “John” comes in. Anna reveals that it’s the Archangel Michael before he kills her. With a click of his fingers he sends Uriel away. He then tells Dean that no matter what he does, there is no way to change his and Sam’s destiny. With that he revives Sam and sends the two back to the present.

Anna’s return to the show was quite a revelation. Since her departure in “4.21 When The Levee Breaks” we were all left wondering of her fate. I for one thought she could have been dead but this episode reveals she was imprisoned in Heaven which she likened to Hell with “All the torture and twice the self righteousness”. In season four I liked Anna but in this episode, while her intentions were good I still found myself disliking her for wanting to kill Sam. This increased more after she lied to 1978 Uriel about Sam and Dean killing him in the future (If you remember, she was the one who killed him in “4.16 On The Head Of A Pin). Her death at the hands of Michael, in terms of special effects, was possibly one of the most amazing deaths I’ve seen on the show. The above mentioned dislike for her also caused me to see this as a victory rather than a sad death.

The relationship between Sam and Cas was also shown in this episode. In the beginning of season 5 their relationship was strained due to the fact Sam had taken the wrong path and started the Apocalypse. This episode however showed how much that relationship had healed with him rejecting Anna’s offer to help her because Sam was his friend. The concern for Cas that Sam showed when he was injured from the time travel also showed the friendship between them. The fact that Cas has “friends” also shows his growth in character and his journey to becoming more and more human.

The main focus this episode was on the boys’ parents. We see John and Mary in 1978 living as a married couple in Lawrence. Mary, having given up hunting is just trying to live a normal life. Unfortunately she remembers Dean from 1973 (When he went back to try stop Azazel). The attitude John shows after finding out Mary was a hunter shows us that hunting may have just been in his blood all along. Being an ex Marine he would have had a soldier attitude, hence why he jumped at the chance to help with the Angel Banishing Sigil. The revelation from Dean that he and Sam were actually Mary’s children had her stumped. At first her reaction was disbelief but then after Dean told her some key moments from his childhood she began to believe him. The family dynamic of the episode also provided a chance for some humour. One of the episodes funniest moments was when they were all in the Impala and John said “Not another word or so help me I’ll turn this car around.” To which Dean muttered to Sam “Awkward family road trip. All in all the return of John and Mary to the storyline shed some more light on the story as a whole and left us with some things to ponder.

John’s reaction to hunting also caused a conversation between him and Sam in which he told Sam he thought it was wrong for a father to raise his kids in that situation. This then evolved into quite a heart-breaking conversation where Sam told him that he used to “hate the guy” but now he understood he was just trying to do the best he could in an impossible situation and that he died before Sam got the chance to tell him he forgave him and that he loved him. The fact that he was able to tell this to his father (even if John didn’t know it at the time) would have provided some much needed closure for Sam and maybe lessened the guilt he felt for John dying thinking he hated him.

Sam and Dean have made a lot of sacrifices throughout their lives but this episode had them making the ultimate sacrifice. Faced with a chance to stop the apocalypse, they were willing to give up their lives. After revealing to Mary that they were her sons Sam told her and Dean that there was no way to avoid what had happened, except one. If Mary left John, Sam and Dean would never be born. The fact that they were willing to give up everything in order to save the world goes to show just how selfless the boys are and the extent they are willing to go to stop the apocalypse.

The appearance of Michael in this episode was a major surprise and the things he had to say were even more so. I knew he would be coming this season but I didn’t expect it to be so early. Using John as a vessel he killed Anna and scared off Uriel and then approached Dean. Like most Archangels in the Supernatural universe he gives off a very authoritative, soldier vibe and seems to be 100% about getting his job done. The conversation he has with Dean reveals a lot about the Winchester family. He tells Dean that his and Sam’s destiny was long foretold and that nothing that had happened in their and their parent’s lives was coincidence. He also mentions that the reason he could also use John as a vessel was because it was in the bloodline, stretching right back to Cain and Abel. He then revived Sam, wiped Mary and John’s memories and transported Sam and Dean back to 2010. The abilities he showed in this episode remind us of just how powerful he is.

This was an amazing episode. Like all time travel episodes it took a while to get your head around some things and there were plenty of times where the writers could have gone wrong. The main worry I had whilst watching this episode was that the revelation to John that Mary was a hunter. This had potential to be a major plot-hole for the series, changing the entire future. But in the end, in typical Supernatural fashion all that was avoided.

-Dex

Update

Posted in Off-Topic on March 27, 2010 by brandex1

Well the hiatus is over and I still haven’t put the reviews for 5.11-5.14 up… whoops. I just couldn’t get into writing a review for 11 and 12, they were just too stand-alone. I couldn’t find very much to say about them besides they were great episodes so I’ll post the finished reviews of 13 and 14 and once 15 is complete, that too. If I get any ideas for 11 or 12 then I’ll write them and post them.

I was also intending on keeping the blog organised by posting synopsis’ and reviews in order but unfortunately if I post 11 and 12’s reviews later on that will be messed up.

Another thing is, I am also looking at getting a new domain name for the blog. You should still be able to access it from the same one as it is now but this new one will make it shorter and easier to remember. I’ll update you with that once I have the domain.

Finally, I will be updating my header image in a minute. I’d like to thank and credit my friend Perth for creating it for me.

Thank you and sorry for the long delay.

-Dex

Sorry

Posted in Uncategorized on February 5, 2010 by brandex1

My apologies for not posting anything since my “Sam, Interrupted” Synopsis.  The Hiatus kind of threw me and so I had to get back in the mood. Reviews for the last 3 episodes: “Sam, Interrupted”, “Swap Meat” and “The Song Remains The Same” will be posted as soon as I’ve done them and in order to keep some sort of order to the blog, I’ll also add the synopses for both “Swap Meat” and “The Song Remains The Same” as well as a new one for next week’s “My Bloody Valentine”.

Thank you,

-Dex

Supernatural 5.11, January 21 (Spoiler)

Posted in Supernatural Episode Descriptions on January 16, 2010 by brandex1

Season 5, Episode 11

Sam, Interrupted

SAM AND DEAN CHECK INTO A MENTAL HOSPITAL
A former hunter named Martin (guest star), who is currently institutionalized, calls Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) for help investigating a case in the mental hospital. The brothers get themselves admitted as patients to check out the mysterious monster that is attacking the patients, but their incarceration pushes both to the breaking point as they unleash their inner demons against each other.

- Summary thanks to Spoilertv.com

Trailer

Preview

- Youtube videos from The CW

Review: Abandon All Hope

Posted in Supernatural: Reviews on November 21, 2009 by brandex1

I would like to begin by quoting Jensen from the end of the Season 4 Gag Reel:

DAMN YOU ERIC KRIPKE!

This may possibly have been the saddest episode yet (Or at least the only one that has made me sob like a little bitch). I’ll start with a brief summary:
Sam and Dean get the colt from Crowley. They then team up with Ellen, Jo and Cas and head off to Carthage, Missouri to take down Lucifer. In Carthage, Cas is captured by Lucifer and the others come face to face with Meg. After Meg sets the Hell Hounds on them, Jo is attacked saving Dean’s life. They then take up shelter in a hardware store and she says she’s not going anywhere and they’ve got the right equipment for a bomb to take out the Hell Hounds. Ellen says she’ll stay behind an sacrifice herself too and the boys run off, but not before Ellen tells Dean to “Kick it in the ass” (I’ll expand on this later). The boys find Lucifer making a sacrifice to raise Death (As in one of the four horsemen) and when Dean shoots him, find the gun won’t kill him. Cas then escapes and arrives just in time to watch Death be risen. The episode closes with Sam, Dean and Bobby grieving at Bobby’s as he throws the picture of them into the fire.

 

Ok I’m going to start from the start and get the lighter parts out-of-the-way first. I found it great that they threw in another anti-homophobic scene in there at the start. Like Ask Elton said in his review of ” (5.09) The Real Ghostbusters”, they didn’t have to put that in, and yet they did. It goes to show what a great show this really is.

 

Cas in this episode was great. I love how he is slowly becoming more human and less angel. Seeing him taking shots with Ellen and Jo was great (Although it got me thinking whether or not angels can become intoxicated). Some other random funny bits were Dean telling Sam “*Sam Winchester having trust issues with a demon, well better late then never” and also “Hey your…functioning morons…mor…”. I think Dean’s dig at Sam also showed that they have managed to put it behind them with it seeming more of a joke.

 

Ellen’s “Kick it in the ass” line was great. And, I didn’t know this until reading Samantha Ferris’ blog after the episode, but apparently it was also a bit of a shout out to Kim Manners. She said it was suggested to her by one of the camera guys while she was filming the scene.

 

Ellen and Jo’s death was amazing and sad at the same time. They have both always been favourites of mine and when I heard that 2 people would die in this episode my automatic thought was “Please don’t let it be Jo” (I have a bit of a connection to her because I’ve seen a fair bit of Alona’s other work). Those final scenes between the two of them and Ellen’s “It’s ok … It’s ok … That’s my good girl” to Jo after she was already gone made it feel like my heart was being ripped out. I have never cried so much over an episode of any show as I did this episode. I’m going to miss having them in the show, even in Season 3 and 4 when they weren’t there, at least I knew they were alive. I give respect to both Sam Ferris and Alona Tal for playing their characters so well and I will definately be following both of their future work. And who knows, they may find some way of coming back into the show, it is Supernatural after all.

 

My final point is about Eric Kripke and Jim Beaver. If anyone had read some of Jim’s tweets from a while ago, he made it sound as though he was finishing up with 5.10 and this automatically made me think he was going to be one of the deaths in this episode. I have a feeling this was Kripke telling him to lead us astray to keep a wrap on what really happens. Jim was even playing along right up until the last-minute. Just before the episode aired in the states he tweeted:

“It’s been a fun trip for 4 1/2 years, SPN fans. Bobby says thanks for the ride. Till we meet again.”
and then
“oh, jeez, I thought it was over. oh, shoot, i didn’t set the clock back in this room. sorry.”

My thoughts are this was again to throw us all off the trail, as if he would spoil the episode for us. I have to admit, it worked. I was fooled right up until the end. When both Jo and Ellen were in the explosion I was thinking maybe Ellen survives somehow becuase I thought Bobby was meant to die. But when the credits rolled I thought “What the hell? It can’t be over yet!” that’s when it clicked and I thought “Damn you Eric Kripke”

Over all it was a great episode, not happy, but good in a storyline sense. So now we wait about 2 months until it’s back with episode 5.11. Why do they insist on doing this to us? Thankfully Aussie fans have something to get us through the summer. Season 5 starts over here next Monday (November 30) at 8:30 on Ten with a double episode. Can’t wait to re watch the episodes.

-Dex

 

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